I feel like I’ve been to the mountain top. This past week, the Lord did some major cleaning up and moving out – insecurity, pent up sin and just down right sadness. I AM SO THANKFUL!
But wouldn’t you know that the enemy came right behind me and gave me one swift kick in the rear. Knocked me right off that mountain. Attack. And I’m not a bit surprised.
So here’s how it all went down. This has been the last week of the Spring Semester at UT. There is so much going on for Campus Crusade. Lots of great stuff, but still a lot of stuff. I refer to busy times like this as ‘Crusade on crack’. We are O.D.-ing on ministry right now. Brent is SUPER busy, overwhelmed and gone a lot. Add a sick, crying 21-month-old and a needy wife with an off-the-charts Quality Time love language. And what do you get? Marital strife.
I don’t even remember what it all was. Something about Sonic Happy Hour, a miscommunication, a Cherry Limeade, a late husband , a sassy wife and an unmet expectation. A perfect combo for a little conflict. Oh, the irony of ‘Happy Hour’.
I’d say Brent is really glad we are married 99.8% of the time. Friday was the other 0.2%.
Without going into the details of it all, it boils down to….I need to give my sweet husband a break, embrace seasons of life that are just going to be busy and go to Jesus to meet my needs.
I wrote in my journal, “Lord, forgive me and guide me to scripture that will help me have balance and a healthy perspective.
I need to * Choose joy *Be supportive *Encourage *Be thankful *Seek Peace * Find balance.”
Here’s where He led me. Sweet Lord. He is so gentle….
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
Isn’t it just like the Lord to build us up before He gives us instruction. How effective. I am not feeling very holy and dear about myself at the moment, but if you say so, God.
OK, so let’s break it down. What exactly does it mean to “Clothe myself with” compassion, kindness, etc. Some versions say to “put on” instead of clothe. The Greek word for clothe is endyo, meaning to sink into, enter into. As if to walk away or step out of someplace different.
This next part is my fav – The verse says, “Clothe yourself with a heart of compassion”. Get this. The word for heart here is not kardia, as we have mention in blogs past. The word in Greek for heart is splagchnon. It means bowels, intestines. I seriously took a re-take when I read this, thinking I had looked up the wrong word. Nope. It means bowels. The bowels represent the seat of our more violent passions, such as anger or love. Or the seat of our most tender affections – a tender heart where mercy resides.
How cool is that?
One more thing. What does it mean to “bear” with each other. Now, I know how to be a bear. Got that down. But what does it mean to “bear” with someone? Bear, or anecho in Greek, means to hold up. Sustain. Endure. (Oh, Brent. I’m so sorry I haven’t been holding you up. I’ve beaten you down. 😦 – Forgive?)
So piecing it all back together. Colossians 3 is instructing us to put “aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from our mouths” (v. 8) and to clothe or enter into our most tender love. Our most violent passions for each other. To be gentle, kind, and patient. Forgive each other and bear with, or sustain, one another. Hold each other up. Endure together. And above all else, LOVE. Love binds all of these together.
I encourage you to go and read the entire chapter of Colossians 3 if you are in a funky place, relationally. It is “relationship balm” to my heart.
So, off now to pursue my sweet husband. To ask forgiveness, bear with him and love him with all my bowels. Ahem, I mean – heart.
Shout out to Tracie for the “balm to my heart” quote. Love you.